Dr Jane Stewart, British Fertility Society spokesperson and consultant gynaecologist at Newcastle Fertility Centre said:

“The ability to generate gametes or gamete producing cells in the laboratory would represent a landmark achievement in the understanding and potentially treatment of fertility problems.  This publication in an animal model marks a further step towards this goal however as the authors clearly point out much work remains to be done before we have a full understanding of such biological processes and indeed the implications of undertaking them in the laboratory.  Such work however is fundamentally important in furthering our understanding of the basics of reproductive biology.”

Notes for editors

The full paper this statement is in response to can be found at: Hayashi et al. Cell (2011), doi:10.1016/j.cell.2011.06.052